Octopus' Garden

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Last night: I drive to the Catholic College 20 minutes down the road and pretend to be my Author-Function.

(And isn't that really the tricky thing about readings? That one must somehow figure out how (without being too glib about it . . . unless, of course, glibness is one of the perceived or desirable functions of one's Author-Function, I suppose) to embody and perform one's own Author-Function? Or, at the very least, how to reconcile one's physical self with the rather spectral abstract that is one's Author-Function in such a way that doesn't come across as sheer psychosis? Or maybe what I'm really confessing is that I'm confused about whether it was really me or my Author-Function that would just as soon have skipped the reading and hung out at the restaurant after the pre-reading dinner, drinking a debaucherous amount of Hurricanes, and dancing with wild abandon all night to the Mardi Gras blues band?)

The nuns will come, I am told over dinner. The Sisters have a Sister Thing going on tonight, but they're probably going to sneak out of their Sister Thing and come to the reading instead. Suddenly, I love these nuns, these sneaking out of their Sister Thing sisters, and I (or is it my Author-Function?) experience a slight wave of performance anxiety. Suddenly, I even feel a little bit penitent about having threatened, earlier, to one of my friends, to gratuitously read only poems containing sex, absinthe drinking, and masturbation -- preferably in tandem.

(So, okay, it's true, I confess . . . I have a little thing for nuns. No, I'm not saying it's right, and yes, I'm a complete degenerate. While we're at it, I have a thing for cops, mail carriers, roller derby queens, superheroes, and debauchable milkmaids. (Particularly debauchable milkmaids. So yeah . . . just call me Angel Clare.) S. says it must be a Uniform Fetish. And there you have it . . . put on a costume for me and I'll take you down. Just like that.)

Please forgive me.

Which makes better eating? someone asks. A garfish or a paddlefish? Can you even eat a garfish? I heard you have to use tin snips to take off the scales. Both, we are all assured, are very good to eat. The garfish has two strips of filet mignon down either side of the spine that are very tasty, and the secret to the paddlefish is to peel off a mysterious layer of red. They're just delicious. Well, they're both prehistoric, says the poet from Nebraska and we all nod wisely, because what could be more delicious than fish that swam with the dinosaurs? I confess, I'm becoming intrigued. What kind of bait do you use? I ask. Small children, says the Cowboy Poet without missing a beat.

The Red Hat Society ladies sweep into the restaurant. I can, at least, say that the costume thing doesn't seem to hold true in this particular instance and I profess that I have never, at any time, had an overwhelming urge (at least thus far) to debauch a Red Hat Society lady.

When it comes to you, on the other hand . . . ?

Mea culpa.
posted by Artichoke Heart at 12:00 PM


I saw a nun with a carefully-trimmed goatee and she was kind of hot.
Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:34 PM  
That does sound kinde of hot, Anonymous. And I forgive you for your Wildly Inappropriate Confession.
Blogger Artichoke Heart, at 3:14 PM  
Wonderful. And the Author-Function questions are exactly what I've been wondering about lately, myself.

Blogger Babblecat, at 4:55 PM  
You really did take a Lenten journey, didn't you?

(I've totally got such a thing for Rosie the Riveter--that rolled up workshirt, the lipstick, her whole manual labor outfit ... damn.)
Blogger Lu, at 9:24 PM  
Damn. I thought I was the only one who used small children as bait. If this continues, soon the seas will be empty of fish.
Blogger Christine, at 7:28 PM  
The garfish kept stealing my bait. When my little cooler box was empty of small children, we were finally able to sit back and enjoy the peace and quite of the calm seas. Screw the fish, hand me a beer mate...
Blogger MJ, at 9:11 AM  
The benedictine nuns of Sacred Heart Monastery have been a part of my life since my first Catholic tear was shed at baptism. My grandmother hates them, they of course being the ones that took over the hospital and changed the face of my grandmother's nursing job. They are the most influential group of feminists in the state of South Dakota. They are wise and educated and taught me more than my grandmother could have about the way our world is beautiful under the rule of Benedict. I love those nuns. I was in love with those nuns. The thing I miss most about Yankton are the bluffs over-looking the river, there on the edge of their acres. If only the students of the college were as enlightened and intelligent as they are.
Blogger Shannon, at 8:36 PM  
Hi Shannon! Ah . . . I knew I was right to love those sneaking-out-of-their-sister-thing nuns! And yes . . . the bluffs over the river are always beautiful.
Blogger Artichoke Heart, at 11:53 PM  

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